UNLV coach Dave Rice was so giddy about the idea of hiring Stacey Augmon as an assistant coach that he brought up the ongoing talks during his own introductory news conference and declared, "There's no greater Rebel than Stacey Augmon."
"I can't think of anyone who would better represent our program and what Coach Tark and what all the former players would be all about than Stacey," Rice said then.
Now that Augmon, 42, has been hired away from the Denver Nuggets, the Jerry Tarkanian-era player who was Rice's former teammate on the 1990 national team can help try to bring back the glory days to UNLV. Rice has talked of bringing in an up-tempo offense that matches the culture of the Runnin' Rebels, and bringing back the program's third-leading all-time scorer helps.
"It will be great to be back in the city where we were part of a dynasty," Augmon said in a statement.
"I am anxious to get started working with the young talent that is currently on the team and to help take the program to the next level."
Rice's hiring of Augmon, who had a 15-year playing career in the NBA, completes a staff that also includes a former head coach in Heath Schroyer and Justin Hutson, a highly regarded recruiter on the West Coast.
Adding Augmon also served to please Tarkanian, according to the Las Vegas Review-Journal.
But for several years after former Rebels coach Jerry Tarkanian was ousted in 1992, Augmon kept his distance from UNLV. Tarkanian said any hard feelings Augmon might have had were "patched up" and in the past.
"I'm very happy. I think Stacey will do a great, great job for Dave," Tarkanian said. "It's a good move on Dave's part. He's got a great staff. Stacey has been a player development coach, so he'll make them better, and he'll be a big name on the staff."